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Beyond Theological Rationalism: The Contemporary Relevance of Herder's Psychology of Religion

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J.G. Herder (1744-1804) is acknowledged as a pioneer in philosophy, theology, history, anthropology, and allied disciplines. This paper explores Herder's development of a psychogenetic account of religion through a critical confrontation with the dominant theological rationalism of the age. Herder's view undercuts various false dilemmas posed by the rationalists by situating religion within a reconfigured account of the “lower faculties” of the soul, thereby effecting an important, if somewhat overlooked, revolution in the modern science of religion.


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Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy, University of Utah;, Email:


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